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Personal experience Yrsa and Noa

Yrsa Kleijkers and Noa Roos are both participating in the Building Bridges programme, in which they are learning how to take a broad view of social issues. And the programme even goes one step further than this; thanks to its small scale, personal guidance and positive group dynamics, the two students have managed to come up with some creative solutions.


Photos: Yrsa Kleijkers and Noa Roos

“We are now in the second semester of the programme and we are both part of a think tank, in which we have been asked by Radboud University to think about campus sustainability,” says Noa. “This is obviously a very broad issue, which is why we have specifically chosen to increase the visibility of existing initiatives. We are thinking about organising a special day for first-year students that is dedicated to sustainability. This would allow us to introduce new students to the sustainability initiatives that are already in place at Radboud University and encourage them to personally start focusing on sustainability.

The opportunity to work on a social issue was an important reason for Yrsa to choose this university-wide programme: “I have always wanted to look beyond my own Artificial Intelligence degree programme, and I feel that climate change is a very important topic. But I’m also learning a lot from the way we work, in small groups in which we’re given spontaneous guidance. During the think tank kick-off weekend, we were taught some theory on the subject, and then we got down to work pretty quickly. And now you can really see the theory being put into practice.”

Noa explains how this honours programme differs from his own Science degree programme: “The way in which we conduct research is what really stands out for me. If I get stuck on a question during my studies, I’ll read up on it. But if we want to learn about something in the think tank, we find out who the experts are and we go and interview them. This means that you get to be much more involved, and that’s really, really great!”

Yrsa adds that when it comes to the think tank, they clearly have a common goal in mind. “We’re really doing this together. We’re also learning to give each other valuable feedback and the great thing is that you’re then able to implement it immediately. It’s partly due to this fact that our group has become friends in such a short space of time.”